Set a few years after the first game, players once more immerse themselves into the mind of a broken Sebastian Castellanos. In Evil Within 2, you enter a world called Union. Not everything is as it seems though in this small quiet town.
The Evil Within 2 Review
Title: The Evil Within 2
Platform: PS4 [Reviewed], PC, Xbox One
Genre: Third-Person Survival Horror
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: October 13, 2017
A Broken Detective with a Mission
Haunted by the horrific experience he went through in Beacon Hospital, Sebastian hunts for the secret organization known as MOBIUS. Searching for answers about what happened. The previous events not only fed into his addiction to alcohol but also causing him to remember his dead daughter as well. Through all this, he also crosses paths with his former partner, Juli Kidman, a secret agent for MOBIUS.
Kidman explains to Sebastian that his results and experiences in Beacon have caught the eye of MOBIUS. MOBIUS needs him. Therefore they give him a proposition: help them and save his apparently not dead daughter or let her perish for real. Sebastian agrees and enters the small town of Union. A town meant to be the perfect haven has been turned into a hellish nightmare. Residents have turned into the same horrific zombie creatures found in the first game. While newer larger scaled enemies patrol the dark corners, stalking Sebastian.
As Sebastian explores the small town, he comes face to face with new enemies. He meets the person behind the nightmare, called Stefano Valentini. An “artist” with a murderous taste. However, He isn’t the central villain though. Unlike Ruvik from the first game, Stefano is just one of the many villains that hoping to make Union their pawn.
Open World Horror
The original game focused on a very linear story. Any exploration involved going through only a few different rooms. Rewarding you with some extra ammo at most. The Evil Within 2 changes that by having a more open world playstyle. It’s not incredibly expansive but does just enough where it gives players a chance to explore the town and its secrets. At first glance, the game can be a bit overwhelming. Especially, when the enemies are tougher on a normal level difficulty.
It’s imperative that Sebastian retrieves classic weapons revealed in the first game. As each side quest passes, he gains a considerable amount of weapons and ammo that ensure his survival. The Evil Within 2 introduces save/checkpoints called Safehouses. Similar to the use of the mirrors, these waypoints on the map have him meet with other people trapped in MOBIUS.
These people aid Sebastian in his quest. Giving him information about events that transpire in Union or more information on certain characters. Inside these Safehouses are also extra ammo that can be picked up on the first visit. Granting players can recover and regroup to plan their next strategy and destination.
Hiding and sneaking around in EW2 is easier. The first game relied on players distracting their foes. You either escaped or stealth kill enemies. The Evil Within 2 forces players to hide. Creating open areas with only bushes or walls to sneak behind. Although Difficult to master, it does offer a more interactive environment for players. You have to use the environment to bypass huge crowds of enemies. There are also puddles, which can serve as a trap if used properly. Oil barrels are great for huge enemies or even bosses.
A Balanced Leveling System
EW2 still includes the famous world inside the mirror. A location deep inside Sebastian’s mind that allows him to communicate easier and freely with Kidman as he is inside STEM. This is also where most of the leveling occurs as well. The first game introduced the currency known as Brain Goo. Where you could level-up Sebastian’s stats and weapons. However, currency gained had to be divided between both. So, if players wanted to level-up their shotgun, they would have to an important stat, such as Sebastian’s stamina bar.
EW2 has two types of currencies used in leveling Sebastian. Brain Goo for increasing stats, and Spare Parts for leveling weapons. Spare parts actually served to build ammo for the Agony Crossbow. As well as in building certain traps in the first game. This double currency system works better because you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Giving players more customization, and a better chance against enemies.
A more open environment helps improve the gameplay.
A balanced leveling-up system, allowing for players to improve stats and weapons equally.
Character designs are eye popping
The focus on multiple villains makes the story less impactful
Some areas are too open, making it hard to sneak around enemies
Overall Score: 9.0 Out of 10. The Evil Within 2 improves on what the first game brought to the genre. A horror survival game that resembles Resident Evil, but makes its own. Eye-popping graphics leave horror fans itching for more. While a change in the leveling system and more open environments bring a better balance to the series. Aside from the introduction of multiple villains murking up the plot, The Evil Within 2 is a powerful horror game that is a must to purchase for fans of the genre.
This game was reviewed using a retail copy purchased by the reviewer.